17 May 2017
H.E Speaker of the Council of Representatives, Salim al-Jubouri
H.E, Chairman of the Iraqi National Alliance, Said Amar al-Hakim
Distinguished Representative of H.E President Fouad Massoum
Distinguished Representative of H.E Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi
Eminent Leaders and Representatives of the Turkmen community in Iraq
Excellencies, Ministers, Members of the Parliament
Members of the heroic military, police, PMF and tribal and volunteers forces
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I applaud the Iraqi Turkmen Community for convening this landmark Forum that is honoured by the participation of the Three Presidencies. It is my honour to address you this morning and take part in this very important event.
Firstly, allow me express my deep appreciation to all the groups within the Turkmen community gathered here today after months of hard work.
Representatives of the Turkmen community that despite diverse political allegiances, competing interests and other differences, continue to strive for cohesion and unity. With this initiative, you as Turkmen and Iraqis set a good example for other components and minorities in the country to work together towards consensual solutions for the future.
Secondly, this Forum further convinces me that increased Turkmen consensus, dialogue and unity will help forge a united, independent, stable, secure, prosperous and strong Iraq for all Iraqis in the long awaited post ISIL period ahead of us.
Thirdly, this landmark Forum is both timely and vital at this time when different components, ethnic and religious minority groups need to sit, dialogue and work together to rebuild their country as a united, federal and democratic nation. A nation in which all citizens, without exception, without discrimination or marginalisation, can fully and equally participate in framing its future. A future in which rights and opportunities are equally protected and guaranteed for all Iraqis.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends
I understand that the goal of your ongoing dialogue and of this Forum is to formulate a unified vision on post-ISIL Iraq and the Turkmen role in its future. This vision will complement visions of other components and groups and together will frame the final outcome and contours of a national settlement and reconciliation.
It is a tall order. But you’re not alone. The UN family is available and ready to assist and support you, in whatever form needed, be it with dialogue and facilitation or with support for stabilization, reconstruction and delivery of justice and accountability to achieve your goals.
Two of the most important issues on the horizon are: One - how to address areas of common and sometimes conflicting interests amongst the Turkmen, and: Two - how to facilitate consensual solutions on a number of contentious issues between the Turkmen and other communities that will lead to peaceful cohabitation and coexistence.
It is my firm conviction that after this Forum, the Iraqi Turkmens will continue to engage with other components and groups to attract their support and inclusion for collaborative peaceful solutions. Not against each-other, not at the expense of each other, but in the spirit of partnership and mutual respect of each-other interests.
Today’s Forum demonstrates the power of both dialogue and unity. It projects the spirit of cooperation not only among Turkmen but also among all Iraqi components and groups, ethnic and religious minorities. Only a consensual united political settlement based on equality of all citizens, groups and communities and founded on patriotism can bring about a permanent end to the spiral of conflict and violence and end the long suffering of the Iraqi people, bring about a peaceful future that can ensure unity, stability and prosperity for all Iraqis. The UN remains firmly committed to this agenda.
Thank you for your attention.